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Will the return of Draymond Green be enough to lift the Warriors over the Jazz?

Golden State poised for another tough contest against one the league’s best teams.

Golden State Warriors v Dallas Mavericks

Their last time out the Golden State Warriors didn’t just lose, they lost in a historically epic fashion. The 48-point loss was the franchise’s worst defeat since 1973. Draymond Green is currently listed as questionable for the next game against the Utah Jazz. But even with Green’s return, the Warriors are facing a tough battle in their chase for win number four.

Green, who sat out the previous game with a cornucopia of injuries, will probably return — just to steady the ship if nothing else.

Though the Jazz have lost two of their last three games, they are a playoff team (currently sitting at fifth in the West) that will challenge the Warriors’ offense to gain ground against what has been one of the top defenses in the league. And Golden State’s porous defense only exacerbates the problem.


GAME DETAILS

WHO: Golden State Warriors (3-13) at Utah Jazz (9-5)

WHEN: Friday November 22, 2019; 6:00 pm PST

WHERE: Vivint Smart Home Arena — Salt Lake City, UT

WATCH: NBC Sports Bay Area

Blog buddy: SLC Dunk


“Flush it down the toilet. Move on to the next one.”

Coach Steve Kerr quipped after the last game that there would be no film review, no additional detailed breakdown of what went wrong (spoiler alert: everything went wrong).

So here we are. The Jazz are the next obstacle, and the Warriors are coming in with the same personnel and strategies that got us to this 3-13 record in the first place. But looking at it through a longer lense, there are some ways to build off every game — even ones as bad as that Luka Doncic-led beatdown we just witnessed.

And so while the fans lean on hopes for a better future, so too will the team. These athletes are some of the best in the world and the Warriors coaches aren’t giving up on getting them to play better.

One of the more interesting developments in the last game was Jordan Poole’s garbage time production. With the game well out of reach and everyone mostly waiting for the clock to run out, Poole was still playing hard and doing some damage.

Yes, it is garbage time, but any sort of traction that Poole can find is notable. As one of the most critical projects of this season, the team is really hoping for Poole to be playable on a contending team next season. So just seeing the lid come off the basket and getting the rhythm and feel of shots going in during a game is a fantastic first step.

How good are the Jazz?

The Utah Jazz face a perennial question every season about where exactly they fit into the pecking order of the playoff teams in the West. They are clearly an above average team, but playoff success has been elusive. This past offseason, they made some major moves, swapping in point guard Mike Conley to replace Ricky Rubio and shoring up their wing position is Bojan Bogdanovic. Alongside franchise cornerstones Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, it’s a pretty good core. Balanced with both offense and defense, and still featuring players that are young enough to still hold the possibility of continued improvement.

Are there flaws? Sure. Gobert has no offense outside of catching lobs, Mitchell has been incredibly uneven throughout the first few years of his career, and it remains to be seen if Conley can stay healthy long enough to help his team make a deep push into the playoffs.

Against this Warriors team though? Those flaws will be less noticeable than a fart on a motorcycle.

After watching Doncic and the Mavericks dice the Warriors apart, I am particularly worried about what the trio of Mitchel, Bogdanovic and Conley are going to do against a Warriors defense that has the physical integrity of paper towels soaked in a bath overnight. And remember earlier when I said that all Gobert can do on offense is catch lobs? Well, that’s all he’s going to need to do against a Warriors team that boasts the worst defense in the league right now.

Predictions

The Warriors may indeed lose, but it won’t be as bad as the last game. Please, don’t let it be as bad as the last game.

Remember fans, this pain is temporary. Read the injury list below, and understand that this is like...plan Z for the Warriors. We are so far beyond any imaginable iteration of this roster that you can only shrug and live with the results.

Or, just do what I’m doing: blow the game off entirely, and go to a punk show.